Many people would agree that losing a child is the worst horror any parent could know. Parents believe that they should outlive their children. Moreover, they feel they should never know the tragedy of having to bury a son or daughter. When parents lose a child, they often cannot fathom the steps they should take to overcome their deepest grief and move on with their lives. These seven suggestions could help you find the support and guidance you need after the loss of a child.
7 Sources of Support after Losing a Child
Any of these seven sources of counseling, empathy, and support exist for parents who are dealing with losing a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, sickness, injuries, or other tragic circumstances.
Source 1: Private Professional Counseling
Your first option for support after losing a child involves retaining the services of a private professional bereavement therapist. Private counseling could be your best option if you are not comfortable attending group therapy sessions or support groups. It also could be your ideal choice if your child died from tragic circumstances that you do not wish to make public. You can cry, vent, or express other emotions in private. This way, you will benefit from the one-on-one attention you receive from discreet professional therapy.
Many insurance companies cover the costs associated with private therapy. You can find a professional grief counselor in your area by looking in your local phone book. You can even ask your primary care physician for a referral.
Source 2: Religious or Spiritual Help
After losing a child, parents who are religious or spiritual may cling to their faith for guidance and answers. When you want to cope with the loss of your child from a spiritual or religious viewpoint, you may find the help you need from your church, temple, or house of worship. Many congregations offer support services like counseling for parishioners. The services may also be available at little to no cost.
Your spiritual leader may be able to point out biblical passages or religious texts that could assuage your grief. This individual also might lead you in prayer and offer Masses or other religious services for you and your family.
Source 3: Funeral Home Post-Care
Funeral homes do more than help you plan and carry out your child’s final services. They also can help you grieve and find closure after losing a child. Many funeral homes today offer grief services to clients who are having a difficult time moving on with their lives. The services are often available for a low cost or could even be packaged in with the costs of your child’s funeral.
Some funeral parlors hold the grief counseling sessions in-house while others host them at local venues like a community hall or senior citizen center. Certified counselors and therapists who volunteer their time often head the sessions. These sessions last for an hour each time. Moreover, they are held for as long as two to three months per group.
Source 4: Hospitals or Medical Centers
When the circumstances of losing a child prove to be particularly overwhelming, parents benefit from in-patient care at a hospital or medical center. This treatment option is typically open to people who suffer the severest of reactions after learning their children have died. Some of the conditions that warrant this level of care include catatonia, heart attack, seizure, or shock.
Parents who exhibit suicidal tendencies after losing a child also may be hospitalized. During their hospitalizations, parents receive intensive counseling. This way, that they can face their grief, mourn appropriately, and learn what they must do to resume their everyday routine.
Source 5: Family Support
Families that are close knit and free from drama and hostility can draw on their loved ones’ strength, love, and support after the loss of a child. While they mourn their lost child, parents can still find comfort in their other children as well as their own parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives.
After such losses, many families pull together and become even closer to one another. This rallying around each other may eliminate any need for the parents to seek counseling and support elsewhere.
Source 6: Support Group
As they work to rebuild their lives, parents may find that they need the occasional support of people who are going through the same circumstances in life. You may be able to find a support group for parents dealing with losing a child in your community by calling the county health department or local hospital.
Support groups also meet at places like the city library or local high schools or colleges. They provide a neutral yet empathetic environment for people who want to support and share with others who are also dealing with the loss of a son or daughter. Most support groups are free to attend and hold hour-long meetings once or twice a week.
Source 7: Social Networking
Social networking is becoming an important resource for parents who are trying to move on after losing a child. This option proves helpful for people who live away from the city and cannot attend regular counseling or support group sessions. It is also a valid choice for people who either cannot afford or choose not to use private therapy to help deal with their loss.
Social networking sites like Facebook host online support group for parents who have lost children. You can talk and share with people from all over the world who know what you are going through. They can offer empathetic guidance and wisdom. These groups are also free and do not cost to join. You may be cautioned, however, to avoid divulging too much private information about yourself or your family for the sake of safety. Unscrupulous individuals sometimes troll these groups for unwitting victims.
Losing a child is many parents’ worst nightmare. Overcoming such a tragedy often requires that they make use of grief counseling services or support options before trying to move on with life. You may regain a sense of normal. You could even find the desire to keep living by using any of these post-loss support options.